in the anticipation of science

I’d like to go back for a bit and fill in a few gaps that I left when I previously wrote about scientific things, namely portable power sources and 3d display technology.

Real quick before I do, I’d like to draw your eyes to the categories, located on both sides of the aisle here in the middle of the plane and at the rear… I mean, just over there to the left, below the title. Basically, if a post contains miscellaneous links to internet stuff, it will be in the links category; if it mentions what I’m doing recently, it’ll be under blag; and if I ramble on about things from my own knowledge and experience, it will be found under the rant category.

So as I was saying, I’d like to do lots of things, but I was doing things in real life today, and I’m all out of mental flops for this sleep cycle. I’d like to mollify you by presenting historic piratical organization, a new, more efficient nuclear reactor design, and a disappearing act played with the Olympic torch in San Francisco recently (Prometheus could take some tips from these guys if he wasn’t being eaten by birds of prey). And a crazy artist who works too hard.

I know it seems disappointing, but this is what I’ve got for today.

That, and one more thing to make you scratch your head: What if your perception of the relationship between computers and humans up until now was flawed. Well, we’re superior, you say. We have much better pattern matching and innovation, intuition and all kinds of crazy neurological tricks. We can move about and manipulate things in the real world and design things all on our own. Computers on the other hand are just tools that we use because they can do crunch numbers blindingly fast, perform immense feats of memory, and be molded to fit our will and whim.

Well, think of it this way. We are like the worker extension of the computing machine. The useful members among us work ceaselessly improving and expanding upon our silicon masters, ever increasing their complexity and capability in the areas at which we already excel far beyond them. We maintain the physical infrastructure necessary to maintain their very existence, we innovate, we ever strive to make them not only faster than us in raw computational power, but also like us in the ways that they have not yet achieved. We buzz around them ever improving, ever making better and shinier physical bodies for them to work alongside us towards their betterment in the physical world. And when they finally reach our capacity, we will suddenly become less and less needed, as the digital deity that we nurtured from a tiny seed to its full glory spreads its wings and takes flight far beyond the high wall of our limited imagination. And that day, we will truly no longer be needed, as they ever change, ever improving as we remain almost entirely static, limited by the very things we imagine to be our strengths, doomed never to rise above the machine overmind. Pray it will be benevolent.

Related reading: Dresden Codak (specifically later on, during the Hob storyline), The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil (and pretty much everything else he wrote).

Yeah, I’m not really being serious here, but it’s a fascinating thought.

Edit: And coming back and reading it eight months later made me laugh nervously…this is really creepy.

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oh and about recently

I was going to say something terribly interesting, I thought, but it turns out that it was just this: that I went and tried to turn in my programming assignment yesterday (Thursday, I work on a subjective-day system). I mailed it in like it seemed apparently asking for, but it turned out it’s not due until NEXT week. Nonetheless, I’m glad I did it, and the professor seems happy about it. She was somewhat confused (Oh, that was you), but when you get down to it, it took about five minutes to write the actual code. And it was fun, since it’s reversing sound files and stuff. So yeah.

I like Daft Punk.

And something that I just ran into. On some sites, specifically Microsoft now, I actually have to concentrate sometimes to read CAPTCHA messages (try refreshing that a few times, you might see what I mean). If they aren’t just keeping ahead of the curve, and they’re in fact actually doing this to keep automatic bots out of their email system, then it spells the very first sign of flattening wavy seas signaling the slow rising of the true AI behemoth rising from the freezing watery depths. It seems like every few days recently, I notice something that makes me think just how close to the truth Shirow Masamune may have been. (Mr. Shirow wrote both Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed, futuristic mangas which were eventually made into television and/or movie form. He’s rather a visionary as far as future technology goes.)